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British family offered $3m following hospital death

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

The family of a British woman that was found dead after she went missing from an American hospital in 2013 has been offered $3m (£1.9m) in compensation. 57-year-old Lynne Spalding, from County Durham, disappeared from San Francisco General Hospital on 21 September 2013. 17 days later she was found dead in a stairwell. The search was criticised for being extremely flawed.

Ms Spalding’s twin brother Bill refused the money, saying that “blood money” would not help their grieving. He said that there are still numerous unanswered questions surrounding his sister’s death; adding: “There was a systematic failure in the care of my sister by people who didn’t do their job properly.”

“I’m not letting this drop”

Ms Spalding had moved to San Francisco several years ago due to work. She had been admitted to hospital with a bladder infection, but disappeared days later. The hospital was searched but it was later discovered that Sheriff Department deputies had failed to check all the stairwells. Ms Spalding was discovered on 8 October.

Following the death, one member of staff from the department was sacked and five deputies still face disciplinary action. The lawyer representing Ms Spalding’s family said that her death was the result of “reckless neglect of her care and professional negligence by her health care providers.”

Mr Spalding said: “I’m not letting this drop. I have friends in the US who loved Lynne and who love the city of San Francisco and we want to see people made accountable so this never happens again.

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